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Military Contractors Are Hard to Fire
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press

San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press, February 2, 2008
Posted: February 10th, 2008

Contract personnel working for the Defense Department now outnumber U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan; there are 196,000 private-sector workers in both countries compared to 182,000 troops. Contractors are responsible for a slew of duties, including repairing warfighting equipment, supplying food and water, building barracks, providing armed security and gathering intelligence. The dependence has come with serious consequences. A shortage of experienced federal employees to oversee this growing industrial army is blamed for much of the waste, fraud and abuse on contracts collectively worth billions of dollars. "We do not have the contracting personnel that we need to guarantee that the taxpayer dollar is being protected," said William Moser, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for logistics management. "We are very, very concerned about the integrity [of] the contracting process. We don't feel like ... we can continue in the same situation." The office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has 52 open cases related to bribery, false billing, contract fraud, kickbacks and theft; 36 of those cases have been referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, according to the inspector general's office. The Army Criminal Investigation Command is busy, too. The command has 90 criminal investigations under way related to alleged contract fraud in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Two dozen U.S. citizens have been charged or indicted so far 19 of those are Army military and civilian employees and more than $15 million in bribes has changed hands.

Note: For many more revelations of war profiteering, click here.

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